Wed Dec 20th, 2006 at 03:53:27 AM EST
Another of those op-eds in the Washington Post:
'Old Europe' Can Gloat, but Then What?
By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; Page A29
BERLIN -- On the day James Baker's Iraq report was published, I gritted my teeth and waited for the well-earned, long-awaited, Franco-German "Old Europe" gloat to begin. I didn't wait long. "America Faces Up to the Iraq Disaster" read a headline in Der Spiegel. In the patronizing tones of a senior doctor, Le Monde diagnosed the "political feverishness" gripping Washington in Baker's wake. Suddeutsche Zeitung said the report "stripped Bush of his authority," although Le Figaro opined that nothing Baker proposed could improve the "catastrophic state" of Iraq anyway.
And then, for two weeks . . . silence. If there are politicians, academics or journalists anywhere in Germany and France who have better ideas about how to improve the catastrophic state of Iraq, they aren't speaking very loudly. There is no question that America's credibility has been undermined by the Iraq war, in "Old Europe" as everywhere else. There is no question that America's reputation for competence has been destroyed. But that doesn't mean there are dozens of eager candidates, or even one eager candidate, clamoring to replace us.
With some exceptions, the weird reality is that most European governments, whatever their original views on the war, are either officially or unofficially opposed to an immediate U.S. withdrawal: Chaos might ensue. And the chaos would be a lot closer to Europe than to North America. Most European governments, officially or unofficially, are also now worried that the next American president will retreat from world politics or become "isolationist."
Ultimately the only way for the West to deal with the new threats posed by a disintegrating Iraq, a resurgent Iran and a shattered Middle East is through a unified policy -- an alliance whose members are not easily played off against one another -- and a joint strategy.
Joyeux Noel and Glückliches Neujahr to you all.
Besides the fact that nobody here is "gloating" (unless if you consider that depicting the factual US failure is innapropriate), the op-ed contains a blatant "untruth" that is to say that France is
"removing its troops from Afghanistan altogether".
Fact is that only 200 special forces devoted to the hunt of OBL are removed (they don't fill any function longer since he is probably in Pakistan and are probably worn out after 5 years of presence in an absolutely hostile environment). In reality France is maintening its presence (2000 men, 1000 on the ground and 1000 at sea) with INCREASED air support to close combat, one of the few nations besides the US and the UK able to do so.
This editorial is nothing but a piece of crap and sadly representative of a culture unable to assess its own mistakes which are so blatant both militarily and politically. It's so much easier to blame others.